When a catalyst and its substrate get in contact, they become involved in a series of weak attractive interactions that are preparatory to the real catalytic event that is the stabilization of an elusive target: the transition state. These weak and reversible interactions are responsible, among other functions, of the substrate’s preorganization, orientation, and activation. From the initial substrate-catalyst complex, and through all the catalytic cycle, supramolecular interactions are at work in shaping the entire chemical transformation. Recently, the term supramolecular catalysis (Wei and Wang, 2013; Lin et al., 2014) was coined to refer to a resurrected cross discipline aiming at bridging the gap between classic homogeneous catalysis and the enzymatic catalysis. A goal in this area consists on the development of synthetic host structures capable of displaying modulation of chemical reactivity or even catalytic activity and turn-over. Many host structures (Deraedt and Astruc, 2016) can display supramolecular catalytic properties (Raynal et al., 2014a,b) exploiting their recognition properties (Leclercq et al., 2019), especially when these features enable the stabilization of intermediate species or transition states.
Supramolecular Aspects in Catalysis
Front. Chem. 2019, DOI: 10.3389/fchem.2019.00174.